Submitted by Fish for Teeth
Islanders unable to afford dental care can receive it for free thanks to the local nonprofit Fish for Teeth on Friday, May 12 through Saturday, May 13.
“Many volunteers and local businesses work as a team to bring this service to those who cannot otherwise afford dental care,” said Fish for Teeth Founder Matt Marinkovich, a San Juan Island commercial fisherman.
Fish for Teeth sponsors a mobile dental van for two-day dental clinics on San Juan Island, three times a year. The Medical Teams International’s van can handle dental hygiene appointments to root canals.
Patients are seen by appointment only. Pick up applications at the San Juan Island Family Resource Center or the county health department, or download them at www.fishforteeth.com. Submit applications to the San Juan County Health Department on Rhone Street. Volunteers, not the county health department employees, determine scheduling a week before the clinic, based on severity and space. Usually, about 30 people are treated during the two-day clinic.
To raise funds for the van, Fish for Teeth sells tacos on the first day of the clinic, but sales are canceled for this event.
Marinkovich formed Fish for Teeth in 2007, after noticing a community need for affordable dental care. The Fish for Teeth board, comprised of local fishermen and dental professionals, sponsors the mobile dental clinic every January, May and October on San Juan Island. Fish for Teeth receives no federal funding and relies solely on donations, which are tax-deductible.